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Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Christmas Break!

Happy New Year's Eve! Our Christmas Break was way too short, but it's NICE to relax. I had finals and Russ had his first (busy) week as a Hall Advisor and then we headed off to Virginia.

Probably the best part of the entire trip was playing with my little niece. She is almost 6 months old and SO much fun! She loved to smile, stick out her tongue, furrow her little eyebrows, and my personal favorite was how she would always grab her toes. It made her so happy! Tyler said it would be funny if we, as adults, also thought it was fun to just lay on our backs and grab our toes. That's a pretty funny mental image, and Russ and I even tried it out. I can stick my toes in my face, but Russ can't (in case you were wondering) :). I also loved playing dress up with her! BABIES! She was obsessed with the wrapping paper. We tried to take some pictures of her "opening" her presents, but she ended up just holding the wrapping paper. Oh well. Maybe next year.




her little sweater was actually mine when I was a baby! Cute, huh?

The second best part of the trip was just being able to lounge around and play games or hang out with my family. I'm not sure when we will all see each other again, so we made the most of it. We also toured DC a little bit one evening. We went to the White House, Arlington Cometary (getting the personal tour from my dad, who is an engineer there), and the Pentagon. I hadn't seen the Pentagon Memorial before - it's really neat. At the White House there were trees from each state, so we had fun trying to find all of our states.


(Russ didn't think he should smile in this picture because we were at a Cemetery)

We also went to the DC Temple and saw the lights and the Visitor's Center. Russ and I seem to always go to temples at night, and this was no exception. But it was beautiful and nice to see so many people at the temple.





One day we took family pictures. I will put some of them on here - we were wearing white and kaki but you can only see the white. I think they look like baptism pictures or something :)



We were only in Virginia for a week, Russ needed to get back to work. But it's kind of nice to be back a little early and take care of some business and relax a little since I won't be able to for the next 4 months or so!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

The Holidays

I suppose it's about time to write another entry in the blog. This is the last week of classes, the last week of being in our apartment, and the last week of Russ working at Robotronics (which I affectionately call "Robobobo"). I am trying to take things one day at a time with classes, but I think overall I will have a pretty good GPA at the end of the semester. Usually, I never win contests. Nothing. But Russ has really good luck with winning things and getting free things. Well, since I've gotten married I've noticed that happening to me a little more. For example, just today I found out that I was RANDOMLY CHOSEN to submit a paper to the English Department! Except - that's not really a positive thing, is it?

My family has a LOT of Christmas traditions, but for some reason the one I felt the most strongly about was having a Christmas tree! I love Christmas and I love decorating for Christmas! So even though we are moving this week and won't even be here for Christmas, I ....somewhat coerced... Russ into getting a Christmas tree in the apartment. It's a fake tree, but it has multicolored lights (my favorite) and my mom sent me 2 boxes of my Christmas tree ornaments I've collected over the years from all over the world, and I must say that our tree is decked (not sure what that means, but it's Christmas...sy...ish).

Last week Russ and I started what will probably become a family tradition of seeing "Forgotten Carols". I must admit that I hadn't really heard much about it, but I LOVED it! I think that maybe as the years go by we'll either read the book or go to the production as the opening of the holiday season and then decorate the tree afterward. It just really gets you into a Christmas mood.

Here's a cute story: a couple days ago I was trying to put some honey on a roll, but there wasn't much honey left (there should have been, but my brother pretty much killed it off in one sitting at Thanksgiving) and so, in my ANGUISH, I said, "Oh! Honey bear!" and I heard Russ in the other room reply, "...Are you talking to me?" And thus, a new nickname is born.

I also realized that I neglected to write anything about Thanksgiving. I had my first Thanksgiving in my house. I cooked the Turkey and although I don't think anyone would say it's the BEST turkey they've EVER had...I think it turned out okay. My brothers, Russ, and I were busy in the kitchen getting things ready (we had 3 pies for 4 people) and then played Settlers of Catan online while the turkey cooked (I know, we're cool huh?). Then we ate - man we had everything from the stuffing and homemade mashed potatoes to cranberry sauce and rolls.


The boys playing Settlers on the couch


The finished product

The rolls were an adventure. I don't know what it is, but I have been very unsuccessful as a bread baker (Russ told me that everyone has their weaknesses). My yeast just won't rise (does anyone have any suggesstions?) So after I toiled over some rolls and they didn't rise, I did a yeast experiment and the one that rose the most got put in with the bread dough. Problem was, by the time the yeast rose, the rest of the dough was made so the yeast didn't mix in. The result...was not pretty. Luckily, however, the roll story has a happy ending, but they were finished about 10 hours after dinner was over.


Trying to get at least ONE of them to rise!


My failed rolls.

While I accidently took a nap after dinner, I woke up and Russ had bought himself a Thanksgiving Day present: a 32" High Definition Flat Screen TV. Boys.


And finally, my yearly turkey pictures...


2008


2007


2006

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Our Last 24 Hours

I was deliberately waiting to write this post until after we found out some news, but we've found out so here it is:


Russ got hired as a Hall Advisor


We'll move into Heritage Halls (Maesar Hall) on December 15th. We found out last night and I immediately went and looked up the floor plan. It's a lot smaller than what we are living in now (something like 20 feet x 20 feet), but I am excited all the same. Plus, it's free!

But that meant we had to sell our contract for where we are living now. Well, Russ got up early and wrote the add, put it up on Craigslist at 8:30 and we had people calling non-stop about it. We had about 8 appointments set up, but the very first people who came to look at it ended up taking it. So it was up for less than 3 hours before we took it back down - thank goodness for living in Provo and trying to sell when everyone is getting married, right? :) So that was really neat.

Moving, however, is going to be a trick. We just have a weekend to do it (during finals week, no less) so I guess we'll rent a U Haul. It'll be a fun adventure. But in a lot of ways, it's going to be nice to be back on campus. It'll be noisier and we were just starting to make friends at our complex and in our ward, but I think Russ will really like the work and it'll be good for me to be so close to campus. I will miss my dishwasher (although we have 20 meals a week at the Cannon Center) and sometimes I'm sure I'll miss having such a spacious apartment, but even just going to check out the building was just so much fun to be back there.

I do have some reservations. We'll make enough for our needs, but we won't be able to put as much into savings as we are now. I think I am also a little worried about fitting into the smaller apartment. However, working for BYU has a lot of perks. Plus, I just think we'll love it. Here we come Cannon Center!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Have I Got a Story For You!

This is my last week at the Telefund but I almost want to just not go back anymore at all because of a call I had last night. It was the most horrible thing I've ever experienced in my life...
We're calling masters students this week and I was on the phone with some woman from American Fork for about 5 minutes because she refused to give the phone to her husband. During the course of the call she said things like this

me: Hi. May I please speak with so and so?
her: What is your name and reason for calling?
me: I'm Adri Lee and I'm calling on behalf of the Marriott school.
her: .....
me: we just wanted to call and update his university records and give him some updates about the school
her: what school?
me: The Marriott Business School at BYU
her: I don't get it. Why do you want to talk to my husband. He went to BYU
me: Yes. And he got a masters in Accountancy.
her: So why do you want to talk to my husband?
me: To give him some updates and check his address.
her: You know he's like 44, right?
me: Well we're calling the graduates, not the current students
(this went on for a while - she sounded really stupid and dense)
her: Are you a student or is this what you're stuck doing the rest of your life?
me: No...I'm a student.
her: Do you seriously think anyone cares about BYU?
me: Well I guess we hope they do.
her: Well they don't and as his wife I am leery of this call.
me: Is there anything I can do to convince you that we are calling from the Marriott school? Any questions I could answer?
her: IF THIS IS SOME GIRL FROM ONE OF HIS CLASSES TRYING TO GET IN TOUCH WITH MY HUSBAND....WE ARE MARRIED IN THE TEMPLE. HE IS COMMITTED TO ME!
me: (totally confused at this point) uh I'm sorry. I'm married in the temple myself.
her: HOW OLD ARE YOU?
me: 20
her: WHAT!?! Do you have children!?
me: No. I got married this summer. Listen. If your husband can't talk, we'll just mail him a Business School magazine to the address we already have....
her: You're married. And you're 20. Oh my gosh, you made such a big mistake.

And then she hung up. It's a good thing she did because I was about to. I just sat back for a minute in shock - and then I started crying. I can't believe anyone would treat someone like that! I didn't even mention we were calling to have her husband give money to the Marriott School. Who KNOWS what she would have said about that.
But whatever shock I felt last night is now anger. I am SO tempted to go in there today and find her phone number and call her on my own time or go to her house and punch her in the face. She obviously has some sort of mental issues and at the VERY least she is just extremely insecure in her marriage. Man. I can see why her husband married her - what. a. gem.

The whole time I was wondering if it was a joke and at any moment she'd start laughing, but...no. So now I wonder who she thinks she is to proclaim to me that she's married in the temple but she treated someone like that. I guess it was easier to yell at someone over the phone.

I've had some CRAZY experiences at the telefund, but NOTHING like that, and I just pray that no one else ever has an experience like that.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

What a Week

Russ is going to San Diego for a business trip this weekend, so I was preparing for our first weekend apart, but on Monday he called from work and asked if it would be possible for me to go with him. I was sure there was no way because I couldn't miss so much work and school (it's a 5 day trip), but through a lot of small miracles, I am going to San Diego with him! But it gets better. They are paying for our transportation, housing, food, and since this is a big conference, they hired me as a temp and I'll get some pay for it! We get an all expenses paid trip to San Diego, and we are going to have to work hard, but after work we can go to the temple and just enjoy the warm weather (oh yeah, and I'll somehow get my homework done :D).

On Tuesday evening I was heading out to a meeting for work and it was dark and I didn't know where I was going and ended up bottoming out the car on a railroad track. I didn't realize anything was wrong, except for being really shaken up, so I went on to the meeting. After the meeting, I realized something was wrong but I got most of the way home before the car quit on me. Things only got WORSE from there. I was lost, it was dark, there were no cars or houses in sight, I had no idea where I was so Russ could come get me. A couple hours later, many prayers, and more tears later - Britney saved the day by driving Russ out to get me, knowing the way around to find me, and having AAA so we could get a free tow truck. We're still not sure how bad the damage will end up being, but let's just say we might just get a whole new car.

Basically, we blame my job for the car (someone has to take the blame, right :D). But I have been thinking about quitting for a while and now feel like I should have done it and this could have been avoided. That may or may not be true, but either way, I went in to work and told them I would not be finishing out the semester there because a)I have no car to get to work now and b)it just seems like quitting would just make me happier. The telefund is a tough place to work. SO if you are reading this and you're a BYU grad, PLEASE be nice to the poor annual fund callers, we're just students :(

Other than that, the Holdens had their baby! Russ and I are going to the hospital to see Baby Girl Holden and I'm so happy for them. I was thinking about it and I think I've only really known Britney being pregnant. It'll be interesting (in a good way) to see how the baby changes our little group dynamic. But we are really excited for them!!!!

Also, I think I am going to do well this semester with my grads. This has been one of my busiest semesters, so I hope I can pull off good grades and raise my GPA (which went down when I went to Jerusalem).

Last but CERTAINLY not least, Russ has been applying for some jobs on campus and we got a call from housing for a hall advisor position! We're not getting our hopes up yet, but any of the jobs he applied for on campus would be nice because we don't really like the management where we live and Russ likes his job but would like some other experiences before graduate school.

So that's the latest update, I'll try to remember to take pictures in San Diego because I just don't take enough pictures of anything!!!

Friday, September 19, 2008

A Little Time

I have a little time before I have to go to work, so I just wanted to write down some things since I never seem to find time to write in my journal anymore...

I always thought summer was my favorite season, but with how pretty it has been lately and seeing the colors change in the mountains, maybe I like fall better. Summer can be too hot sometimes, but in the beginning of the fall you just need a jacket, and the leaves are going to be SO pretty in a couple more weeks. I can't wait to go on walks through them and play in them with Russ. :) Also, fall wouldn't be as pretty if it weren't for the mountains. I love Utah (until it gets cold, then I will probably not like it)

Friday afternoons are great because I get home around noon and then have about 4 1/2 hours to get homework worked on before Russ gets home from work. Well, today I accidently took a 2 1/2 hour nap, during which I had a dream that Russ and I had a baby. Except it was weird. She never cried - so consequently I thought she was dying because I realized I couldn't remember ever changing her diaper or feeding her, but I wasn't worried about it because she was so happy and content. The weird part was that sometimes she would be a baby and sometimes a doll and one time I went in to wake her up from a nap and she was a doll so I had to "put her skin on" to make her a real baby again. Super gross - it was like a rubber chicken or something (you could see the veins in her legs and the skinless head was black???), but I wasn't alarmed by that either. Russ and I had just moved into his parents' house (which wasn't really their house but it was...you know how dreams are) and so I was trying to figure out how I would have time to take care of the baby and the vegetable garden and the dog we had inherited from them.

But even though this dream was SO strange and made no sense at all, it felt really good to have a baby and to know that Russ was my husband. It made me really exited for the life-changing events the Holdens and the Killions have coming up as their daughters are born.

Also life-changing is that my roommate from Jerusalem, Elise, got engaged last night. I am SO excited for her! She is so much fun, and she helped me A LOT with addressing my wedding announcements so I have a feeling I know what I'll be doing around the middle of October :) But she is so cute, I just hope I can convince her to move into our complex so that I don't have to go to Relief Society alone!! :D

Friday, September 5, 2008

Loving Life

I posted a bunch of pictures on facebook and then realized some people (i.e. my parents) won't get to see them that way, so I think I will put a few of them on here again and tell you all about how the little Lee household is doing.

First, I wanted to do a top 10 of my favorite things about being Mrs. Russell Lee....

1. HANDS DOWN my favorite part is when one of us wakes up in the middle of the night and just cuddles with the other one, even if they don't wake up to notice it
2. Reading scriptures and having family prayer and having a husband who won't let us forget to do them!
3. I have a husband who brings home bacon! Sure, it is hard to do homework while he is playing wii, but he paid his debt to the university and now is rewarded with having no more homework
4. I actually know what is going on during the football games now! (not like when I went with TyRee and Abby and we weren't sure which was the ball was going...)
5. Russ tries his best to be helpful around the apartment and is doing great at living with neat freak, Adri.
6. I am pretty sure I laugh now more than I ever have before in my LIFE!
7. This sounds pathetic, but it is fun to be on the same cell phone plan so that we can talk to each other whenever we want
8. Knowing exactly what he ISN'T saying based on the various grins on his face
9. I have someone to cook with and cook for!
10. I loved getting my new social security card and BYU ID that said "Adrianne Loren Lee" on it.

Okay, there might be some other, better things on there too, but those are the first 10 that came straight to my mind. I think I had a realization this morning with both of us being so busy, sometimes it is HARD to think about him instead of just what I need to get done, but it's amazing to really feel the actual help Heavenly Father will provide if we ask Him to.

I also just wanted to post a couple of fun pictures to sort of tell what Russ and Adri have been up to!



For our honeymoon, Russ and I stayed at a FANCY hotel in Arizona and then flew to Salt Lake and saw some of the church history sites. We even went to a temple session in Salt Lake. It was my second one ever and it was REALLY neat to see a live session. We also went to Lagoon, which was REALLY fun and we had a great time there before we headed back to reality...



We, with a LOT of help from our friends, put together 2 dressers, three bookcases, a computer desk, an entertainment center, and a dining room table with four chairs. We are still only about 90% moved in or I would put more pictures up, but it really feels a lot more like home!



I don't cook like this every night, but I LOVE cooking (some dinners have turned out better than others, I'll admit) and I think Russ loves eating, so it all works out. But making big dinners makes me feel more like a wife than almost anything else :)


We love hanging out with our friends the Stapleys, Holdens, and Killions (and Carters but they moved :( ). This picture was during our murder mystery. Russ was the ski shop owner and I was a bohemian. I don't know why, but this one of my favorite pictures of all RussandAdritime!!!!



I am glad that the guys (Russ, Steve, Steve, and Chris) stayed such good friends so that when the wives came along we could form this group. I still love all of my old roommates and the girls from my floor, but this little married group is SO MUCH FUN! Everyone (for the most part...) made me feel welcome from the beginning and the wives especially are just loving and always willing to help or to listen, and that is really invaluable to me.



Mom. This picture is for you. Russ took it as I walked out the door (with food in my mouth) for my second day of school. Look at that...second day and I already had to eat in the car because we were running late. OHH well.

So, from Provo Utah, this has been a post from Adri Lee...loving life. Now I have to go do that homework I have been avoiding :)

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Adri Lee

Russ and I have been married for almost two weeks, and it is FUN! We got back from our honeymoon on Wednesday night and walked into a VERY messy and cluttered apartment (we had just moved our boxes from our old apartments in there before we left and we had some wedding gifts). We had to make a path from our bed to the living room and bathroom and kitchen and the front door. It was ridiculous! BUT! After only a week we (with the help of a lot of friends) have made TONS of progress! We bought, assembled, and set up/decorated a kitchen table, four chairs, a TV stand, a computer desk, two small book shelves, and one big book shelf, and one dresser (hopefully we'll get the next one done tomorrow). Then I just have to find places for all of our STUFF!

Even though we are living in a small apartment, I love it because it is OURS and it is our HOME! It's just a lot of fun. I am not sure where all the furniture will go or how we'll arrange our pictures, but it has been really good to have this half of a week before we go back to work to get as much done as we have.

Get ready to get hit by a BUNCH of pictures...


This is Russ's reaction to seeing me in my dress for the first time (we both cried a little bit because it was such a beautiful moment!)


This fence pose is one that Russ wanted to take and told me about in February when we met his family, but (as you may tell) tall, long Russ looks great, but it was actually REALLY hard to hang there.


This road picture is one of my favorites!


I am of the opinion that you aren't a bride without the veil and a poofy petticoat under your dress






















My mom was so mad that we did this, but I started it!


To me, this is the world's most beautiful and yummy cake!


Daddy Daughter Dance


This picture turned out really pretty with my bridesmaids!


What a stressful day. I think this is our only silly picture.


I LOVED the bubbles!


Great group shot.


It was only about 10:30am, but it was HOT!








My family


Russ's Family

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Turning 20

Today I turned 20. I am really tired and have had a stressful week, but I wanted to write this before I forgot any detail. This birthday was amazing. It was sad that I haven't been with my family much for birthday, but my mom pointed out that it probably wouldn't have been much fun since they are in the middle of moving out of our house in Germany this week. I still felt very loved and (shockingly enough) all of my siblings remembered my birthday. I have a pretty amazing family.

But since I was here in Provo for my birthday, Russ took VERY good care of me. Let me just tell you some of the highlights from my day :)

1. 12am on the 16th - Russ discovers that it is my last night of being a teenager and I have never toilet papered anyone. Well. Next thing I knew, he was dressed in black and carrying a roll of toilet paper. We hopped in the car but didn't know where to go, so we taped toilet paper to the Stapley's door. I know. SOOO mischievous, huh? It was really fun through. Probably not as good to tepee an apartment rather than a house, but what can you do? (there is more to that story, but I am not going to tell it here. I am content to just say that I now have a greater understanding of what I would label "teenage boy fun")

2. Surprise visit from Russ - I have an 8am class, and as I was leaving, Russ showed up at my door with roses and a birthday card (made especially for me with the cutest little lamb ever on it -- every time we see an animal on a movie, I ask Russ if we can get one) and a yellow diamond bracelet. I love it! By the way, have I mentioned how lucky I am to have Russ?

3. I had class and then work for an hour, but Russ came and picked me up. It was fun to show him off at the office and then we went and looked at apartments. I told him I wanted a home for my birthday and we had been REALLY stressed lately trying to find something. Well! Long story short, we are not homeless anymore! I am going to live with a boy! THAT hasn't quite sunken in yet...
There were two styles of apartments, and Russ liked one and I liked the other. A lot of discussing and one rock, paper, scissors game later - we are moving into the one Russ liked. :D

4. I must thank Lissa and Jason for sending me a gift card to Olive Garden so that Russ and I could eat out for my birthday. It was a FABULOUS meal, and sitting next to us was a really old couple whose last name was also Lee. I said, "Russ! That's us in 60 years! He is tall and still has his hair and she is cute and a hunchback!" haha I think this was my first birthday at a restaurant, and yes, the waiters singing happy birthday is embarrassing, but the free chocolate cheesecake made it worth it!

5. We hit Seven Peaks! I had never been there before, and even though it was a little cloudy, I still have a lot of fun. Russ had been to Seven Peaks when he was younger and apparently had a bad experience with one of the slides, but he faced that fear :) Ironically, it was the free fall slide and he skidded to a stop and then had to start up again so he didn't even free fall but OOOOHHH I did. Then we did the lazy river and the wave pool. SO much fun. I normally think swimming is boring, but it's fun when you can "water flirt" (similar to snow flirting, which is what Russ and I did on our second first date).

6. Russ's work barbecue. All I have to say is that it was good food, and I SMOKED Russ at golf. Yeah. I don't know how it happened either. I've only golfed once and my mini golf is nothing to brag about.

7. I had to go to a mandatory training meeting at work and Russ came to pick me up. We got back and it went like this:

Russ: let's go back to my place and get a movie.

Adri: we can watch Pride and Prejudice! It's in my room!

Russ: no. I want to watch an action movie

Adri:....whose birthday is it!?!

...we walk into Russ's apartment and it was a SURPRISE PARTY! Russ is so cute. He sneakily had made me texas sheet cake and a pretty dress to wear at our wedding luncheon I had been looking at. It was really great. The Stapley's and Jamie came. It's a shame that so many of our friends are out of town, but I still really appreciated it!

8. July 16th is not only my birthday, it is 1 month until I get married. AH! There is still so much to do! But I am so excited. Russ and I had been going to the counseling center (yes, just as we encouraged our residents to do :D) just because it was free and we wanted to make sure we were talking about all of the issues engaged couples should. This morning when we went (we've only been there 3 times) the counselor basically told us we don't need to come back. hahaha I guess that is a good thing. He said we have good heads on our shoulders and sound like we communicate well and handle conflicts the way we should.

In conclusion, being 20 is ALMOST (but not quite) as great as Russ made my birthday! Thank you to everyone for the birthday wishes!

Friday, June 27, 2008

Registering

I was originally anti-registering, but I have been told that it is easier to shop for people when they register, so Russ and I went to Target to register today. If I had to compare it to something, I believe I would compare it to shopping with a small child. Okay, okay, maybe not QUITE like that, but let's just say that some men hate shopping and apparently Russ is not one of them. We went through the kitchen stuff (which was heaven for me) and decided we really couldn't do much bedroom or bathroom without deciding on colors and stuff. So we headed over to Russ's side of the store. I left him alone for 10 minutes while I went to get a few things for my current apartment. When I came back, he had registered for items including, but not limited to:
- 3 coolers
- a tent
- a GPS
- air matress
- golf clubs (??)
- basketball
- football
- volleyball
- grill
...and he was heading over to the Play Station 3s. He had a very guilty look on his face as he scanned that one. Yes, all of that coming from the man who preaches, "Give up what we want today so that we can have a better tomorrow! We have to decide between our wants and needs." Apparently we need the Play Station to watch Blue Ray discs *cough*Carters*cough*...but we don't have any Blue Rays. :P

Then I suggested we just run over and look at shirts, and Russ had lots of fun pointing at random shirts with the gun. "What about THAT shirt" or "THAT one". He was having a grand old time. Finally, we went to the check out counter and I looked over to see him registering for packs of gum....

...yep. All in all, I must say I am marrying a funny man and we are going to have lots of fun. Tomorrow, we conquer Bed, Bath, and Beyond...

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Russ and Surprises

Sometimes, we girls need to be careful what we wish for. For example, I told Russ that I like romantic and cheesy surprises. Since that time, when he tries to surprise me, he actually usually makes me mad and THEN surprised/happy because he likes to surprise me by acting like he forgets things and then it turns out not only did he remember, he went the extra mile. Let me explain...

Like on April Fools Day. Every morning we called each other at 8:30 and shared the best scripture we read in our personal scripture study. Well, I called him on April Fool's Day and he was all groggy and was like, "Oh no! I forgot to wake up!" For some reason, this irritated me a little bit because I was frustrated that he slept so much and I am such a morning person. Then he told me to come out in the lobby. He had woken up extra early to take a shower and then got dressed in my favorite of his outfits and did his hair and he just looked great. Then he walked over to Chipman lobby to surprise me. So, it was really cute, but also fairly frustrating at first.

Now I would like to present exhibit two: coming home from Jerusalem. I was supposed to have a 6 hour layover in Chicago, but there was an earlier flight so I put myself on standby for that one. WELL through a serious of miracles, answers to prayers, and the misfortune of some family who didn't get to the gate on time, I got on the flight! So my plane was supposed to come in at 8:10. I called Russ and told him the flight would be in at 8:00. He tends to run late sometimes and I had been daydreaming about seeing him as soon as I got through security and so I really wanted him to be there early.

So we land in Salt Lake and I called Russ and told him that we were on the runway taxing and he told me he was about 20 minutes away. I was completely heartbroken. The flight was already 20 minutes late, and I had told him to be there 30 minutes before. So the four other engaged people from my program RAN off the plane to go see their fiances, and I just kind of sat back and let other people get off, thinking that perhaps if I stalled long enough, Russ would be there by the time I got to security. It took everything I had not to cry. I was SO mad at him!!!! I hadn't seen him in 7 weeks, I had gotten all dolled up in the Chicago airport for him, AND I was cranky/tired from flying for over 24 hours.

Then as I slowly sauntered towards security, I saw him. I just shook my head. I should have known he would do something like that. He was standing there with a rose and a sign (like people have when they pick up strangers) that said "Adri Carson (Lee)". I just walked over to him and gave him the biggest hug ever (thanks for the warning CJ - he really WAS taller than I remembered). I just started crying and saying, "I WAS SO MAD AT YOU! I WAS SO MAD AT YOU!!!!" He just laughed.

He told me he had driven 100 on the freeway to be sure and get there by 8:00 (on the way home, he promised Heavenly Father he'd dive 65 on cruise control :D). AND THE SURPRISE WASN'T OVER YET! There were roses in the car and THEN when we got to my apartment, my bed was made and there was a chocolate bar on my pillow. And, my favorite part was the balloons he got. He just tried to get a bunch so one said, "I'm a girl!" and another said, "It's a boy!" It was so cute! He even got me yogurt and milk and cereal to eat for breakfast because he ended up having to go into work for a while on Friday morning and he wanted to make sure I had breakfast.

In conclusion, I love Russ. He is amazing. His surprises are amazing too, even if they always seem to make me mad first. :)

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Jerusalem Observations

I wanted to write some things about Jerusalem that people wouldn't know unless they lived here. I won't call them "facts" though because I am not sure if they are. They are simply weird things that might be interesting that most tourists don't see:

1. About once a week the entire area around the Jerusalem Center smells like smoke. One time we saw a dumpster on fire so that they could pile more trash on top of the ashes of the old trash. This explains the smoke and tells you how dirty the streets of Jerusalem are.



2. Bread is sacred. If people drop bread on the ground (or cookies or even a crust of bread), someone else will come along and put it up on something so it is above the ground. I walked around today and actually saw this. Even in the nastiest of circumstances (because they litter a lot even though I have seen lots of trash cans around), pieces of old bread will be put up on a chair or tree stump so that some animal or other person can come and eat it.



3. Shopping is crazy. Things do not have prices. Even with taxis (called...phonetically..."share-roots") you have to barter for a good price. Most of the time people really scam the Americans (because it works) and if you get the shop keeper to actually give you your set price, you probably could have gone lower. It is pretty stressful and I try to avoid it all together. The key is walking away (thank you Russ Lee for telling me that)...you will ALWAYS get your price if you are willing to walk away. Also, the shops in the Old City are lining a sidewalk that is about 6 feet wide. It is very bustling and crowded. I am still scared when I go in there because most of the men look sketchy and pickpocketing is a big problem.



4. Mailing things is very expensive. There are customs to send things out of Israel. Even stamps cost about 2 dollars. My package I sent to myself cost 100 dollars to ship! And when I got a package from my parents, it had been completely opened and rummaged through.



5. The locals really can spot BYU students. Somehow they'll look at us and say, "Mormons?" and most shopkeepers really do give Mormons a better deal than most tourists because we are honest people and we dress modestly. We may not be able to openly talk about our religion, but we really are making a good impression on the people here.

6. The Dead Sea is really cool. Floating is an amazing experience that I think everyone should have. I imagine it is how astronauts feel. However, what they DON'T tell you is that it BURNS. I am not just talking about cuts. Somehow the salt gets into places you don't really think about and burns like nothing you've ever felt before. Some of the girls couldn't handle it. The guys were okay. (Use your imaginations) Despite that, the Dead Sea was still one of the coolest parts of the trip.



7. The Old Testament really is a lot more interesting when you can picture the places in your head that you are reading about. I still think the Book of Mormon is a lot easier to understand, though.


David and Goliath sling :)

8. I wish Russ were here, but I am still having an amazing time.